Princesses and Fairytales


Princesses and Fairytales is part of a series of short essays I wrote for my Creative Writing final senior year of college. There were 4 or 5 essays in total, and all were required to be autobiographical. This particular essay was the first in said series.

 

There’s something beautiful about childhood. Not to say the world was perfect then, but through the eyes of a kid it came pretty close. Shielded from the world’s harsh imperfections, I spent my first years as an unyielding optimist armed with an arsenal of endless smiles.

Like Narnia, these memories lie in an abandoned room, behind the doors of a great armoire littered with dusty knick knacks. If I rummage deep enough I can see the old house again, haunted and awkward yet somehow attractive as it sat perched above a pond. We would throw the herons stale pieces of bread in our backyard and I would stare with wonder at how tall and majestic they were from my five year old perspective.  Despite their beauty I had a healthy fear of those piercing beaks and beady eyes. So I tossed them my last bits of bread and retreated to my daddy’s side.  I was safe there. All my life, Daddy would be the white knight in my story, impervious to the evils that threatened what I thought was my perfect world.

I was a happy little tyke, spoiled with love and Disney painted dreams of princesses, ponies and high castles. I would grow up believing that lost princess mentality in which one day I would eventually be whisked away by a handsome prince. He would own a palace of course, filled with rainbow cookies, rushing waterfalls, mighty steeds and adventure. There we would fall in love and live happily ever after.

However, when we get older the world teaches us that those three fairytale words were merely the desperate desires of a dreamer longing for something better than reality. They say no story is entirely honest that ends with “happily ever after”. It’s just a copout ending written so that you don’t question what happened next.

Cinderella isn’t so charming when she runs off with the butler. Nor is Belle so lucky when she realizes her handsome prince didn’t shed tempers as well as he did fur. It’s sad how reality has a way of poking holes in the dreams of optimists.

Yet shame on the princess who built her dreams with glass, for nothing worth fighting for should ever be guarded by fragile walls.

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4 thoughts on “Princesses and Fairytales

    • I suppose that depends on the reader. For me, this is actually an optimistic piece. Broken down, it basically says that as children we are dreamers, but often as we get older there will be people and instances and obstacles that will challenge those dreams. Sometimes we lose them when we see things aren’t as perfect as we believe they should be, or they don’t unfold the way we hoped. But dreams shouldn’t be fragile. They should be courageous, tenacious, and hopeful. Something that doesn’t just fall into our hands, but allows us to pour ourselves out in an effort to achieve it. To make it real.

      If dreams were like glass, they’d shatter the moment something hits. Dreams should be stronger than that, and bolder. To me, it’s what gives them life, and beauty, and value.

  1. I agree: work for happiness, or the moment a misfortune comes along, your world is shattered. Courage and strength builds a happy life so that even when the worst comes, you’re still able to fight.

    I believe that happily ever after does exist, but not to the extent of a flawless ending. I’ve met a handful of older couples who have shared a wonderful life together, despite the pitfalls and hardships along the way. My boyfriend’s aunt and uncle, for example: she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s several years ago. He has taken care of her throughout her diagnosis. It isn’t a flawless life for either of them, yet their ending together is happily ever after.

    A perfect ending may be unobtainable, but living happily ever after is always worth fighting for.

    • I concur. 🙂 And perhaps that flawlessness is what makes it so wonderful. I’ve always believed that contrast brings value to things. Without the hardships, success wouldn’t feel so good. Nor would love without it being tempered and tried, or comfort and peace without pain.

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